The social campaign for the equality of women in all areas of life has brought about partial, yet significant, results and has raised public awareness of issues like femicide, sexual offenses, and sexual harassment. But these achievements are still far from the end of discrimination against women in what they are paid, their chances for promotion at work, their proportion among elected lawmakers and other governmental officials, and the equitable distribution of chores at home. The public services, the majority of whose employees and consumers are women (teachers and health care workers; providers of welfare services, including those for the elderly) are struggling under increasingly difficulty budgetary constraints. Consequently, many women are forced to work part-time and temporary jobs, and they constitute the majority of workers who earn the minimum wage or less. Netanyahu’s government is pushing to increase the age of retirement for women, without at the same time ensuring a safety net of employment opportunities and wages for older women.
The Communist Party of Israel (CPI) stresses that the quest for women’s equality is an essential element in the battle against all forms of discrimination, for the defense of democratic freedoms, against the demolition of homes and dispossession, against fascist tendencies and fundamentalist religious coercion.
The interest of all women, Jewish and Arab, Israeli and Palestinian, is to end the policy of settlement expansion, of annexation and oppression by the Netanyahu government, which only leads to more bloodshed and war. Encouraging the phenomenon of conscientious objectors gives impetus to the public campaign to end the occupation and reach a just and stable peace at the core of which is an independent Palestinian state within the borders of June 4, 1967, with its capital in East Jerusalem, living alongside Israel.
On this Women’s Day of 2017, the CPI emphasizes its great appreciation to all its women comrades, to women active in Hadash (The Democratic Front for Peace and Equality), to the Democratic Women’s Movement (Tandi), to all peace-loving women, and to all women active in class-based, environmental, equality, and social change movements. The CPI calls upon these women to join the campaign to bring about the success of Hadash in the upcoming elections for Naamat and the Histadruth, both of which are seen by the party as important political tests.